Protecting your church in bad weather

07 September 2019

We've produced some helpful tips and advice to make sure you and your church are prepared for the winter weather.

Bad weather

Cold weather and storm

As winter approaches, it’s worthwhile taking some simple steps to protect your church from the worst of the British weather. Minimising winter risks might help you avoid an insurance claim. 

  • Clearance of gutters and downpipes – clearing leaves and other debris will prevent blockages that can eventually cause damage to the church. 
  • Check for loose or missing roof tiles – loose roof tiles can fly off and cause damage in a storm and where tiles are missing, there is the potential for leaking to occur. 
  • Insulation of pipes – where there are external pipes or pipes which are likely to get cold such as in outbuildings or a cellar, insulation will provide protection against bursts. Burst pipes are often caused by freezing temperatures so preventing the pipes from becoming too cold can help to avoid this. 
  • Keeping pathways clear - slips and trips are more likely to occur when the ground is slippery. Moss and wet leaves can be a cause of this, as can frost and ice. 
  • Lighting – shorter days and heavy cloud coverage can lead to poor lighting. This can cause slip and trip hazards. There are various solutions that might help including LED strip lighting. Read more about slips and trips.

Flooding

A flood at your church can have a huge impact on the church and the church community. We have put together some guidance to help churches understand more about flood risks and defence.   

Lightning

A single bolt of lightning hitting a church can damage the fabric of the building as well as the potential to cause fires.

The huge surge of electrical energy hitting the church can cause wires in the building to burn out putting computers, electric organs, alarm systems and audio-visual equipment at risk.
 
It’s not possible to completely remove the risk of lightning strikes but lightning protection includes:
  • Having lightning protection fitted
  • Keeping lightning conductors properly maintained
  • Employing a professional to inspect the church’s lightning conductor at least once every four years
  • Installing surge protection equipment to protect the church’s electrical equipment.
Any work on the church’s lightning protection system should be carried out by a competent contractor such as a member of the Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists (ATLAS).
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